There is a great historical story when William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli both ran for the post of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1886.
Before the election both men happened to take the same young woman out to dinner. When reporters realized this woman had dined with each candidate separately they wanted to know her impressions of both.
So, the young woman told reporters, “After dining with Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest person in England.” Naturally the reporters were quite impressed with Mr. Gladstone. Then, they inquired of his opponent to which the young woman replied: “After dining with Mr. Disraeli, I though I was the cleverest person in England.”
It’s a great way to think about our associations with others. With each encounter is our goal to make people think we are funny, insightful, and clever? Or, is our goal to leave an exchange with others having them feel as if they are wonderful?
And, just to confirm the better approach: guess who won the election? That’s right, Benjamin Disraeli!